God has a great purpose for every pain and affliction that you have to endure. He brings hardships and struggles to move you out of a place of contentment or comfort for a purpose. He will wake you up out of your slumber, stand you up on your feet, and get you moving. All to bring you to a new place of growth and maturity.
Where there is growth there will be pain and where there is pain there are lessons to be learned. Afterward, you will look back and be grateful for the struggle, grateful for the trial, and grateful for the lessons learned. Self-improvement is not just a manmade idea to inspire you to move forward. God is the one who thought of it first. He pushes you out of the place of stagnation to make you stronger and bold for Him.
Also consider this, the greater the pain and affliction that a servant of the Lord goes through and the longer the difficulties are prolonged, the greater the purpose God has for your life. Keep that in mind when it seems as if the struggle never ends. The fruits of your labor will one day be so sweet, you will rejoice in the struggles you had to endure to get there.
But remember, nothing of great value ever gets accomplished without hard work. The couch potatoes will never achieve any success, let alone fulfill the will of God in their life. You must get up and work with what He has given you. Rome wasn’t built in a day and the kingdom of Heaven is a continual work of faith.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To Him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:6-11
He has a plan and destination for your life all laid out. But it takes hard work. It will not come easy. Just ask the Apostle Paul, he had to endure hardships, persecutions, beatings, lack, and even imprisonment. But you must fix your sights on Him, put your faith in His plan, and get working accordingly. It is all for His glory, your good, and the building of the kingdom of God. The hardships that you must endure will in the end help you turn and lift up those who thought they were left behind.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
To follow Jesus is no Sunday drive but a difficult and rough road, full of detours you never intend to take. Potholes that will try to kick you to the curb. If this is true for you and your focus is on Jesus, you are on the right road. Work hard for Him and He will exchange every tear for joy someday.
Keep laying everything down at the feet of Jesus and trusting Him by faith. Though you have nothing to physically hold onto He is holding you and will carry you through. Remember God favors those who follow Him by faith and work hard toward the goal He has set.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18